Why? – Harry’s Tale.
A companion piece
to Why? – Ginny’s Tale.
These are JK
Rowling’s children. They are only in my care for this story, and I’ll have to
give them back soon.
what was Harry thinking down by the lake the day Dumbledore was entombed? How
did his decision to stop seeing Ginny affect both of them? A
what-may-have-happened-next. Possibly rated PG, but not really, for
insinuating things that are not described in the text
1 – The whole night through
Harry thought. It seemed like there was a piece of him missing. In the muzzy early
morning, through the fog of sleep that still filled and insulated his mind, he
could still sense this. Suspended in that just-woken-up state where everything
is perfect, he was unwilling to make the effort to figure out what it was. He
was warm and comfortable, and he felt safe. The sun had other plans for him,
however; it was shining merrily into his eyes through the window he had left
open the night before. As he turned to hide his face from the softly invasive
rays, the past week hit him with the force of a thousand curses.
“Oh.” This had
become his customary greeting to the world. Every night, he would awake seven
or eight times, and every time, the realization would hit him: Dumbledore was
dead. He was all that stood between Voldemort and complete control of the
wizarding and muggle worlds. This realization on its own was often enough to
send him off into a vapid state, even without the news that registered in his
brain shortly afterwards. He would probe at the empty patch within his soul,
trying to find out what was missing. He would explore the shape of the vacuum,
wondering what it was that had fitted so perfectly into that gap. Just as
suddenly and twice as hard, he would realize what it was. He had severed a part
of his soul, as neatly as if it were enclosed in a Horcrux.
If he hadn’t already done so, he would collapse back onto his bed, fighting and
failing to hold back the tears that always choked him.
Harry had never
before in his short life understood the meaning of the phrase soul mate. With
Ginny’s last words to him, he had known. He’d known that what he was doing was
no better than what Voldemort had already done, no matter how noble the
purpose. He was splitting himself in two, and leaving one part in a safe place,
to fend for itself. Was this any better than what Voldemort was doing with his Horcruxes? Together, he and Ginny had formed a bond of such
purity, such perfection that he had thought nothing would
ever come to break it. The fact that he had done it himself made it worse, and
the fact that he knew he had broken Ginny’s heart in the process magnified the
whole thing by an immeasurable factor.
”I never really
gave up on you. Not really…” He whispered those words to the carefree morning,
tears like pinpricks forming a film of rainbows in his eyes. He had known, with
those words, the true depth of the bond he was about to sever, yet still he had
“Why? Why did I
do it?” He repeated the next line of his new morning ritual. “He’ll know how
much I still love her, and how important she still is to me, so he’ll go after
her anyway. All I’ve done is made things worse for myself.”
He heard one of the Dursleys get up to go to the lavatory, and
he supposed that they would all be up in
short order. This no longer worried him, however. After he had been collected
from Kings Cross and they had arrived home, words had been exchanged. Vernon had tried to order Harry to cut the
grass, but he hadn’t reckoned on Harry’s newfound strength of will. Harry had
ordered him, along with the rest of the Dursleys into the living room, where he
sat them down on the same sofa that Dumbledore had sat them down on such a
short time ago and had started talking. Vernon had tried to interrupt once, and Harry
had turned on him such a black look that for all his bluster and bulk, he
hadn’t dared to continue talking. He had explained again his role in the first
defeat of Voldemort, and his potential role to come. He left nothing out; the
betrayal of Dumbledore and his subsequent death, Harry’s intended next steps,
the fact that he would be unlikely to return to school if it reopened in
September. He explained to them exactly what he expected of them for the
remaining weeks he was in their care (which was to say, nothing except access
to the kitchen and bathroom as required) and informed them that he would likely
never see any of them again after July 31st, even if he did survive the year. The only thing he left out was the fact that
he had so thoroughly broken his own heart. With those final words, he had
turned and walked to his room, quietly closing the door behind him. True to his
word, he left his room only to use the bathroom and for occasional meals. He
ate rarely, for the sick, cold emptiness he felt thoroughly quashed his
appetite for most of the time.
To cap it all,
Ron had written to him a couple of days ago reminding him that he was invited
to the Burrow for the wedding of Bill and Fleur. As if the feeling of having his
heart shattered wasn’t bad enough, his mind was tearing itself to shreds over
this latest development. At any moment, he could think of a million things he
wanted to say to Ginny, and a million reasons to stay away. He had a horrible
feeling that seeing her would destroy his resistance, that he wouldn’t be able
to hold his resolve. He felt trapped… like he was running around in circles
with no hope of escape.
A sudden thought
rose, unbidden. There was a way. Such a laughably simple way he could end the
pain. With a semi-hysterical laugh he took up his wand and slowly raised it to
point between his eyes. He counted to three, then shouted out the spell he had
hoped he would never have to use.
His last thought
before the blackness claimed him was a memory of sitting with Ginny beside the
common room fire, talking, laughing and holding hands the whole night through.
A/N: I’m not going to spell it out, as that would
spoil the surprise, but consider that this is a chaptered story, and I’ll need
all the characters to finish it off. Also, remember what they say about the
Unforgivable Curses? Harry wouldn’t be
able to perform one even if he wanted to.